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Private property and no trespassing signs

Recently my neighbors who are new to the neighborhood have posted Private Property / No Trespassing signs along the borders. On their side of the property, it is forest, but on my side, it is my lawn. So now I see ugly red signs from when sitting in my yard. I want to be neighborly and ask them nicely to remove the signs, but I am curious if there is a law about how close the signs can be to the property line.
Most places I see signs, they are 10 - 15 feet withing the owners own property. In this case, there is even a sign that is on a tree than tilts into my property but is rooted in theirs.
So my simple questions is, How close can they legally post these signs to my property?

If they are fully within they rights and won't agree to take them down, then I will have to put up a living fence or something so that I don't have to look at them.


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Submitted Sun, 06/28/2015 - 08:27

Dear Landowner,

It is unlikely that any court would find that a neighbor who posts his land with No Trespassing signs has done anything wrong.

Some towns have sign by-laws, but such a by-law would probably apply in the commercial context, and not here.

There are several examples in the law where posting of property is specifically provided for.

For example, a landowner can post a "No Trespass Notice", which forbids a trespasser from entering or remaining on property. This kind of notice is more specifically directed to a particular person than the general posting of a no trespassing sign.

I invite you to read my article:

Another example where posting of land occurs is when a landowner wants to prevent someone from acquiring an easement in his land. This sort of posting can be done pursuant to G. L. c. 187, s. 3.

Concerning the placement of a fence, any landowner should be careful that the fence does not constitute a spite fence. Even a natural barrier has been found, in at least one case, to constitute a spite fence.

Yours truly,

Robert Nislick
Attorney At Law
P.O. Box 5207
Framingham, MA 01701
(508) 405-1238

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